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Author Topic: Monitor recommendations  (Read 37407 times)
marc.s
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« on: April 04, 2006, 12:56:29 PM »
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Hi.

My old CRT monitor is biting the dust (there are light shades next to dark contrasts like text - degaussing doesn't help) and I really need to replace it. I've been very happy with it (a 17" Sony Multiscan 200 PS) and spent a long time finding the right one at the time.

Everything seems a lot more confusing with LCD screens, at least within my limited budget. Ideally I would like a 20" widescreen, but if it's not available with decent image quality within my budget I'm willing to settle for a 19" regular monitor for now.

I was rather drooling at the Dell 2005fpw because I could stretch my budget to it, but between apparently a lot of problem with the backlight (have they been solved yet?) and too bright for photo work(?), I'm not as keen. The corresponding Apple Cinema 20" wide is rather expensive for me (if it's really great and can last me many years it would be worth it), and I've read that it's not fully adjustable with Windows XP (is this correct?). Dell has a 2007fpw model coming but since it's not out yet I have no idea whether it's better than the 2005fpw (nor what it will cost).

Are there any widescreen 20 inch monitors out there like the Dell and Apple Cinema with decent image quality at similar prices? I would really like a widescreen since it would be a great help in my photo and graphics work.

If not, what good monitors are there in the 19" regular format segment? I understand NEC and LaCie are supposed to make good ones, but they have a lot of models, as do the other brands. Image quality does not seem to be much of a parameter in monitor reviews these days, so most of what I see recommended are all-round or games monitors. I don't need to watch films on it (although it would be nice), so my main concern is image quality and cost. Something that would roughly be like my old Sony CRT would be great.

I haven't used any hardware profilers so far, have actually been able to get satisfactory results through software and eyeballing my own profiles and I have my prints made at a lab. But if necessary I would probably get a Spyder 2 or similar to calibrate my new monitor.

It doesn't make all that much sense stating a budget since I don't live in America and the models available here often trade at different prices relative to each other, but the Dell and Apple models I mentioned should be able to indicate it roughly..

Any help and recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I'm beginning to get rather frustrated trying to find something I can afford.
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kbolin
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 02:32:29 PM »
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Check out the following thread... lots of posts there.

LCD Monitor Recommendations
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 03:05:12 PM »
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I'm about to set up an Apple 20" with a PC, I've researched video cards, almost all of the Nvidia GeForce support it as well as dual monitor setups, there is a freeware driver for the ACD called WinACD the post I made below has the link.

From all I've heard about the 2005fpw it is tricky to get the lighting levels correct, I couldn't be bothered with 'tricky' so I bought a 2nd hand one less than a year old in perfect condition for the same price that the Dell would cost new and I don't regret it.

Get some calibration device it's so worth it, you will kick yourself while you have one that you managed without it for so long. Worst case borrow on every now and again to profile your screen, it would be better than nothing. Again 2nd hand might be an option, I'm sure ebay has quite a selection.
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marc.s
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 03:19:57 PM »
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Quote
Check out the following thread... lots of posts there.

LCD Monitor Recommendations
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61784\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks - I did read through that thread (until it just became really technical), but there weren't many actual recommendations, and that's what I really need. By photographers, that is, not the kind I can get in any computer forum.

One monitor was recommended, the NEC 1980SXI - but it costs over US $1500 here, so it's way out of my budget.

I can stretch to the Apple if it's well worth it and will last for years, but I've seen mixed comments and would really like to eat proper food the coming months, so I would like to know if there are better or other options. I also read here that the Dell is actually a better monitor than the Apple once the brightness has dropped off with use.. confusing.
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marc.s
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 03:27:28 PM »
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I'm about to set up an Apple 20" with a PC, I've researched video cards, almost all of the Nvidia GeForce support it as well as dual monitor setups, there is a freeware driver for the ACD called WinACD the post I made below has the link.

From all I've heard about the 2005fpw it is tricky to get the lighting levels correct, I couldn't be bothered with 'tricky' so I bought a 2nd hand one less than a year old in perfect condition for the same price that the Dell would cost new and I don't regret it.

Get some calibration device it's so worth it, you will kick yourself while you have one that you managed without it for so long. Worst case borrow on every now and again to profile your screen, it would be better than nothing. Again 2nd hand might be an option, I'm sure ebay has quite a selection.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61790\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'll be very interested in hearing how the Apple fares on the pc - are you using WinXP? I have a Geforce 5600 which should be able to support it (if not I'm really going to get loopy).

Unfortunately I can't get hold of any calibration devices here, I'll have to order from abroad.. and with my already limited budget it's not so much fun. Ebay might work, I'm just leery of getting some broken thing or nothing at all - I'll have no way of getting my money back.

The prints I get with my old monitor are hardly ever off, but maybe I was just lucky eyeballing it.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2006, 03:41:33 PM »
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Where are you based?

maybe get a friend with experience of ebay to get one for you, ebay can be a minefield but if you have the map and are savvy then it shouldn't be a problem, especially for rather niche items like a calbiration device.
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marc.s
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2006, 03:44:00 PM »
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I'm in Denmark.. I'll take a look at Ebay just to see what's around. Have any decent calibration devices to recommend, the EyeOne maybe?
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 04:12:44 PM »
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Funny, I've been spending the last hour trying to find a decent review (i.e. by a photographer not a computer mag!) as to which and what, etc.

I'm using a Spyder 1 which has been fine for my CRT but I could do with something better for the new display, I assume that correctly calibrating a decent LCD is a lot more complicated than a CRT.
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Roy
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2006, 04:22:29 PM »
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Funny, I've been spending the last hour trying to find a decent review (i.e. by a photographer not a computer mag!) as to which and what, etc.

I'm using a Spyder 1 which has been fine for my CRT but I could do with something better for the new display, I assume that correctly calibrating a decent LCD is a lot more complicated than a CRT.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Try this:

[a href=\"http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm]http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor...ation_tools.htm[/url]

A bit dated, but good advice.
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Roy
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2006, 06:29:53 PM »
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thanks, very eye opening, oh and potentially seriously wallet opening too!
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akclimber
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2006, 07:42:47 PM »
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Monitor calibration/profiling tools review:

http://www.shootsmarter.com/infocenter/wc026a.htm

Monitor Info:

http://www.shootsmarter.com/infocenter/wc041.html

You may have to register but it's free and the site has some really good info, including product comparisons.

I just hope my LaCie CRT lasts long enough for good LCD prics to drop.  The prices are shocking.

Hope that's useful.

Cheers!
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marc.s
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2006, 05:12:21 AM »
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Augh.

That site says I can't afford a decent LCD and should just buy one of the CRTs on their list. The only CRT they recommend e that is available here is too expensive for me as a stop gap monitor.

Sigh..
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2006, 07:56:47 AM »
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I wouldn't worry too much about smartshooter, they are perfectionists to the point of impracticality for the real world, their articles on flash and exposure, together with their rebuttal of RAW (who needs it when you are shooting to a 1/10 of a stop, etc) haven't impressed me as to the real world applications of most of it.

There are a lot of serious photographers using the Apple display and being very happy with it.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2006, 08:58:51 AM »
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This is a tough time to buy a display. I would either spend huge bucks for something like the NEC LED Wide Gamut or go real cheap and wait for the technology to improve. CCFL LCDs are going to go the way of CRTs in a year or three when some of the killer new technologies (OLED, SED) hit the streets. We'll be laughing (or crying) at those super expensive LCDs using Fluorescents.

As for http://www.shootsmarter.com/infocenter/wc041.html, I and others have said on the PDN forum it's a cesspool of misinformation about color management. Best to ignore most if not all they have to say (in the past, this is the site that recommended you load your display profile as a working space and now tell us no output device has a wider gamut-contains more colors- than sRGB). Danger Will Robinson.
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Andrew Rodney
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marc.s
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2006, 10:19:15 AM »
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This is a tough time to buy a display. I would either spend huge bucks for something like the NEC LED Wide Gamut or go real cheap and wait for the technology to improve. CCFL LCDs are going to go the way of CRTs in a year or three when some of the killer new technologies (OLED, SED) hit the streets. We'll be laughing (or crying) at those super expensive LCDs using Fluorescents.

As for http://www.shootsmarter.com/infocenter/wc041.html, I and others have said on the PDN forum it's a cesspool of misinformation about color management. Best to ignore most if not all they have to say (in the past, this is the site that recommended you load your display profile as a working space and now tell us no output device has a wider gamut-contains more colors- than sRGB). Danger Will Robinson.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61877\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I haven't seen the shootsmarter website before now, nor do I know what the PDN forum is, so I'm really out of that loop. I really dislike struggling with this kind of stuff, I just want to shoot and work my images, not worry about technical issues that don't mean squat compared to the enormous room there is for improvement in my photography anyway (and always will be). I shoot mostly action and street photography - there's no neat studio setup or time to white balance let alone check exposure accuracy. It's a flowing, moving, living process that is not bound by technical gear. This is also why I'm strongly dependent upon RAW (if I was in the film age I'd have to shoot a forgiving negative). This doesn't mean I don't want quality equipment, it just means that my main focus is on getting the image, and getting it with equipment that allow for great prints. I'd rather spend 2000 USD on glass than a monitor.

If the Apple Cinema 20" is a decent monitor that provides similar output to my old Sony Multiscan 200PS (which cost a bit more back then than the Apple does now) and there's no cheaper alternative with the same image quality then I guess I'll have to go for that. It would just seem logical that since Dell use the same panel in the 2005fpw that other manufacturers use it too and one of them is as good as the Apple.

I cannot afford to go for the hyper expensive, and I don't want to buy a piece of junk that I can't edit my images on while I wait for the alway elusive next super duper model. Unless someone has a recommendation for a fairly inexpensive 19" monitor with good image quality..
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2006, 10:32:50 AM »
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I wonder how much 2nd hand Sony Artisans go for these days, that was my other option vs the ACD, it comes with its own calibration device, but the 30kg weight put me off!

I would love to wait as you would, but I can't I'm a working pro wedding photographer and need a useable screen. The apple for me, albeit 2nd hand was relatively cheap (£390) especially considering it's far more new, and I have little doubt that it will keep me happy for the next 2-3 years. Lets face it, even when the new technologies come out, they ain't going to be cheap for a further two years and I need something to fill the 5 year gap as my Compaq 17" CRT is no longer accepting calibration properly and I don't see that any modern CRT would be worth the bother compared to the ACD.

What I'm really looking forward to is building a AMD 64 dual chip 3800+ with 2 gig ram tomorrow, plugging in the ACD and the CRT as a 2nd monitor, and being able to do some serious Bridge/PS batching work (a serious need when working 700+ images from RAW to processed files) simultaneously as opposed to being limited to one or the other at present due to speed constraints on my p4 1.6 eventhough it also has 2 gig ram. Can't wait.

I bought my first 'serious' computer, a pentium 200MMX for the same amount that this new rig, including the ACD cost me now. How times have changed!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2006, 10:34:47 AM by pom » Logged

digitaldog
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2006, 10:59:23 AM »
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I wonder how much 2nd hand Sony Artisans go for these days, that was my other option vs the ACD, it comes with its own calibration device, but the 30kg weight put me off!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61896\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Good luck finding one. If you do, go for it. In fact, I have a brand new unit in the box as a spare. My original is hanging in there but if it takes 2-3 years for the good stuff to arrive, I'm set.

Artisan's do sometimes show up on eBay.
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Andrew Rodney
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marc.s
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2006, 11:15:04 AM »
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I'm still trying to look around for alternatives to the Apple (which seems to be a display people consider 'just about acceptable').

Here's one that was recommended on another forum: NEC LCD2070NX - http://www.vnunet.com/personal-computer-wo...3/nec-lcd2070nx

It's not widescreen which I would like, but the price is ok and it is 20". It's my understanding that the Apple can't tilt to portrait mode - if that's true it makes it less usefull anyway (the Dell can).

Anyone have any knowledge of that NEC model? Unfortunately no shops near here stock these kinds of displays to see what they look like, so I have to mail order (although I can return it).
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2006, 11:48:15 AM »
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I don't think that 'just about acceptable' is true for the majority of users though DigitalDog (sorry I don't know your name) would be a lot better able to back me up on this being as I understand one of the big PS people and therefore knows what he is talking about as opposed to most of the people on forums who only wish they did!  
« Last Edit: April 05, 2006, 11:51:30 AM by pom » Logged

marc.s
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2006, 12:08:10 PM »
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I don't think that 'just about acceptable' is true for the majority of users though DigitalDog (sorry I don't know your name) would be a lot better able to back me up on this being as I understand one of the big PS people and therefore knows what he is talking about as opposed to most of the people on forums who only wish they did! 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61909\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Oh, I'm just going by what I see photographers write in forums and reviews.. it seems to just make the cut, but not in the league of other (more expensive) NECs and LaCies..

Personally I don't have a clue as should hopefully be evident by now

I'm really interested in what people think of the NEC I mentioned in the above post, how it stacks up against the Apple, and whether there are other similar ones that are better.

It was so much easier to pick a CRT, this is like fumbling in the dark..
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